Cellphone touch screens to bring drawing messages?
“The touch has tipped, and drawing messaging is where touch leads,” said Welsh.
It could also create the next money-spinner for mobile operators, for whom text messages are still the key data revenue generator in 2009.
To promote drawing on phones, Welsh — whose mobile paintings have been downloaded some 500,000 times from Nokia’s mobile-sharing service Mosh — is planning a drawing tour across Britain, to visit art venues, universities, schools and nightclubs.
“Fine art drawing and painting are drenched in tradition, but all children draw — as with the transformation that is happening to the rules of photography, the overwhelming majority of people who now take photographs no longer consider themselves photographers,” Welsh said.
So far there is little that’s “instant” in drawn messages — they have to be downloaded through an Internet browser on the phone or sent as multimedia messages (MMS) from one phone to another.
“Currently, nobody trusts the networks as everyone knows a horror story or two to put them off being adventurous on the web from a mobile, and parts of the world don’t have it,” Welsh said.
A few years ago MMSs were expected to be the next big thing for mobile operators, but they have gained only a limited following among consumers due to technical glitches and some phones like the iPhone do not even support them.
Welsh, who has used Nokia’s Mosh service to study people’s interest in drawings on cellphones, says a simplified way of communicating through drawings was needed, and the potential could be surprising.
“A favorite story I heard while talking to many people was of a grandmother in Japan, who had all the usual methods to communicate with her grandchildren and she chose fax, because she could draw and then receive pictures from them,” said Welsh.
In addition to touch screen devices Welsh himself uses different technologies for his drawing, pictures in the posting are made with a Nintendo’s Wii remote control, which has been linked with Nokia’s N95 8GB phone.